Dr James (Jim) Nelson Phillips of Guelph, Ontario passed away peacefully after a brief illness and a wonderful life on January 15, 2022 at the age of 91. His beloved wife and children were by his side.
He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Gwendolyn (nee Jefferson) and his 4 children - Michael (Sandra); Jeff (Janet); Anne; and Cathy. He is remembered with great affection by his grandchildren Daniel, Emily (Mark), Robert (Sam), Rachel (Sia), Vicki, Ian, Eric, Nicole and Alexis and great granddaughter Gwen.
Jim was born in the village of Chatsworth, Ontario to father Dr MacKinnon Phillips MPP and mother Erla (nee McKay) on February 26, 1930. After sister Madge arrived, the family moved to Owen Sound. He met Gwen in kindergarten and after they both played hard to get, they became sweethearts at OSCVI high school. Jim learned to ski by walking up the hills at Harrison Park. In the summers he lifeguarded at the same park. He played his clarinet and alto sax in band shells from Owen Sound to Sauble Beach and Port Elgin.
Jim earned his medical degree at Queens University (class of 1957) and specialized in Urology at McGill (1963). He and Gwen moved to Guelph in 1963 where he launched his urology practice. Over the years, he was President of the Medical Staff at Guelph General Hospital; Chairman of the Urology Section of the OMA; Chief of Surgery and Chief of Medical staff at St Joseph’s Hospital. He held in high regard his colleagues in any role, always speaking of the great team of nurses, technicians, kitchen staff, cleaners and worrying if something went amiss for any one of them. He cared deeply for his patients and some of his favourite clinical work included travelling to see patients “up highway 6” in Fergus, Hanover, Mount Forest and Durham.
Jim and Gwen have been long standing, active members of Trinity United Church and value the community it provides.
Jim remained active in his retirement - golfing, playing clarinet in a local band, enjoying extended family at the cottage, joining every family Euchre game, attending Men’s Club and the ROMEO group (retired old men eating out), participating in exercise and church by video during COVID and mixing a Gin and Tonic for any visitor.
Jim did everything with enthusiasm and 100% positivity. He taught his children that if you want to be good at something, study it, practice it, do it and most importantly - love it! Get the degree, take the trip, go for the hike, try the ice cream, learn a new card game, take the lessons. He also believed one must be aware of and value the experience of others. Family get-togethers were a time for Dad to share a reflection on social justice, environmental threats and the human rights impact of current day economics and politics. It wasn’t enough to enjoy your life, everyone needed to ensure that others had the opportunity to enjoy life as well. We will miss much about our husband/dad/uncle/grandad/friend but most of all we will miss his daily example, his words and his loving and enthusiastic guidance.
The Phillips family would like to thank Dr David Hood for compassionate care of our parents and for his guidance to the entire family. We would also like to thank the teams at Guelph General Hospital (5 West) and St Mary’s Hospital (400 Unit) for their excellent care in the midst of the challenges of COVID.
Resting at Gilbert MacIntyre and Son Funeral Home, Hart Chapel, cremation has taken place and friends and family are welcome to attend visitation on Friday, January 21, 2022 from 5:00pm-8:00pm at Gilbert MacIntyre & Son, Hart Chapel, 1099 Gordon St., Guelph. The Funeral Service will be held at Trinity United Church, 400 Stevenson St N, Guelph, on Saturday, January 22, 2022 at 1:00pm. The family kindly requests that only those who have been double vaccinated attend the visitation and the church has a mandatory vaccination policy for those wishing to attend the Funeral Service. All are welcome to live stream the service on the internet. Details can be found on his memorial page at www.gilbertmacintyreandson.com . Due to COVID restrictions, guests must RSVP their attendance using the link below his obituary for both the visitation and/or Funeral Service. A spring interment will be arranged in Owen Sound.
People wishing to honour Jim’s life can make donations to The Guelph General Hospital Foundation, Trinity United Church or a cause supporting others to enjoy life. Donations can be made in person at the funeral home by cash or cheque or online following the link below his obituary.